Recreate the British gentleman look pretty please
October 29, 2008 5:47 AM   Subscribe

Where online can I find a decent quality top hat and monocle, barring Ebay?

Budget for both is around 60$ CDN pre-shipping. All I'm looking for is your standard top hat, British-gentleman-style, preferably "silky" looking rather than velvet or anything along those lines. Black.

I'm really not picky with regards to the monocle - I imagine a gold rim with chain and maybe a nose support thing (optional). These will be pseudo costume pieces, so it's not like they have to be top notch quality, but I would prefer they not be cheap plastic and cardboard items.

I've been searching through Froogle so far, mostly, and the relevancy (and sketchiness) of the results tend to vary a lot. Thanks in advance!
posted by Phire to Shopping (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Second hand shops? In Toronto, I think that means Queen Street West. (In Kingston, no idea.)

I'd ask every single proprietor on that strip. I'd be surprised to end the day without at least some solid leads.
posted by rokusan at 6:05 AM on October 29, 2008

One place to look for hats might be equestrian suppliers, dressage and driving competitors tend to need toppers and bowlers for some classes. These may come in well over your budget however, especially satin toppers. Wool or felt are more affordable but not shiny. My sister ended up getting her satin topper from an antique shop - this was in the UK.

I did some Googling and couldnt find much in your neck of the woods - perhaps we Brits are more horsey in general.

These guys have hats and seem to ship outside the UK, more expensive than you wanted but they are Christys hats - the Rolls Royce of hats.

Heres a US supplier of Christys hats

These guys have more affordable hats but no mention of shipping abroad:

Failing that, how about a magicians supplier?
posted by Ness at 6:45 AM on October 29, 2008

I believe the OP is in Ottawa; that said, there is a Malabar costume place on Merivale, and a coworker recommends a place hight 'Party Mart' or something similar at Merivale and Hunt Club.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:59 AM on October 29, 2008

The Gentleman's Emporium can get you a topper and monocle for under $100 US. They also carry an excellent line of spectacles, pocketwatches, and other bric-a-brac sure to complete the ensemble. The Village Hat Shop has a couple of top hats under $50 US. You'd be hard pressed to find a silk/satin top hat in that price range, I think.
posted by leapfrog at 8:15 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The OP is in fact flipflopping between Ottawa and Kingston at the moment (but primarily in Kingston), and wondering whether she needs to be a bit more careful with giving out information like this over the internet. :)

I checked out thehatcompany, which was unfortunately the cheapest of the bunch. I've got my eye on a specimen at the Village Hat Shop, actually, but the shape isn't quite what I was looking for and it'd be a bit of a last resort.

Thanks, though! I will definitely check out the Merivale place next time I'm in Ottawa, and keep those suggestions coming!
posted by Phire at 8:44 AM on October 29, 2008

Last Halloween I picked up a surprisingly well made wool felt one from these folks for under $20 US.
posted by zepheria at 9:13 AM on October 29, 2008

If you're in Kingston, have you tried Phase 2 on Princess? They usually have a big Hallowe'en selection of second hand stuff - you might find a hat there. Also, across the street from Phase 2 is What'll I Wear, next to Zap records; they don't have a huge selection, but there's a small chance that you might find a hat there (the hand stand is at the back, near the shoes). S&R will probably have something, but most likely of the cardboard/plastic variety. If you're up for making your own monocle, you can buy a gold chain and gold wire (twist into a circle: voila! monocle!) at Carriageway Beads, a few doors up from What'll I Wear on Princess. That's probably pretty much it for Kingston, I'm afraid; mail-order might be your best bet.
posted by iona at 9:43 AM on October 29, 2008

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